After nearly three weeks since moving to our new location at 1300 Stone St., I drove to work Friday morning and ended up in the employee parking lot at 518 Carson St.
As I was getting out of the car I suddenly realized I was at the wrong place. Duh.
My car had driven me there on the same route for nearly 10 years, and, out of habit, I drove to what’s now the old Sun building, vacant and awaiting a complete upgrade from the folks at St. Bernards Medical Center, who purchased the building.
It’s a much nicer drive to our old location than to our new one along traffic congested Red Wolf Boulevard. I guess my car had missed the tree tunnel, sparse traffic and fall foliage along Greensboro Road.
Friday was a cold but sunny morning, and the rays of light flickering through the leaves of the tree tunnel made the colors of fall flash brightly as I drove to work, my mind on trying to figure out I was going to write for Saturday’s newspaper.
With Janet Thiel, our news assistant, out on vacation this past week, it meant juggling an additional three or four balls. Yeah, I dropped a couple, but overall the week went smoothly – albeit more frantic than usual.
Janet does a lot at The Sun for our readers, most of which she gets little public credit. But believe me, when she’s on vacation we all suffer. Don’t even ask reporter Joe Schratz. He’s been charged with making sure all the obituaries are published correctly when Janet is out.
Needless to say (a phrase Janet hates), we’re looking forward to her return on Monday.
Before going on vacation, Janet put together the Thanksgiving holiday closings of government offices and changes in trash pickup schedules. Most are simple.
However, because Jonesboro has grown so large, a change in the trash pickup schedule extends over several days, making it almost impossible to figure out when your trash is actually going to be picked up. Explaining it in print is confusing.
What’s also striking is that almost all government entities get Thursday and Friday off for Thanksgiving, giving government employees a four-day weekend. I’m not sure when Thanksgiving grew from a day off to a four-day weekend, but that’s one way government grows spending without providing most services.
I know the police and fire departments will be manned during the holidays, but they benefit in extra pay and other days off.
On Friday, like most private businesses, we’ll be here at The Sun, putting out Saturday’s newspaper. We’ll also be here on Wednesday, putting together Friday’s newspaper because there will be no Thanksgiving edition.
Why? The postal service doesn’t deliver mail on Thanksgiving.
Change is hard, especially when you drive to the wrong work location.
As for our new location, we couldn’t be happier here on Stone Street. Our offices have been completely renovated, so everything is fresh and new.
Instead of having to walk half a block to talk to someone in another department, it’s only a few steps now. It feels like more of a team than working with folks in a distant part of the building you might not see all week.
Gauging the attitudes of others at The Sun, it’s safe to say we’re all much happier here than our old office building, which had become a daily reminder of our shrinkage and long overdue renovation.
Like vinyl records, newspapers across this country are hoping for a comeback soon.
Without newspapers, there’s no one watching government and holding officials’ feet to the fire, much less setting a standard of fairness in the discussion of community concerns.
The fake news and division created by social media will eventually tear our country apart if we allow those on the fringe without ethics to guide our decisions.
Want to give yourself or a loved one a great Christmas present, subscribe to The Sun. The cost of your subscription will be paid back with a greater connection to your community and part ownership of a government watchdog.
In the long run, your taxes will thank you, too.
Also, a note about obituaries: With everyone having phones with cameras these days, take a few close-up photos of your loved ones for posterity. We get some of the worst photos to publish with obituaries – out of focus, low resolution and general poor quality.
In this day and age, everyone should have a great photo of their loved ones.
Chris Wessel, editor of The Sun, can be reached at 935-5525 or email@example.com.